Immunisation Horizon Scanning Volume 7 Issue 7

May 6, 2016
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Text messaging reminders for influenza vaccine in primary care: a cluster randomised controlled trial

April 11, 2016

Source: BMJ Open2016;6:e010069

Follow this link for full-text

Date of publication: February 2016

Publication Type: Journal Article

In a nutshell: Objectives (1) To develop methods for conducting cluster randomised trials of text messaging interventions utilising routine electronic health records at low cost; (2) to assess the effectiveness of text messaging influenza vaccine reminders in increasing vaccine uptake in patients with chronic conditions. Design Cluster randomised trial with general practices as clusters. Setting English primary care. Participants 156 general practices, who used text messaging software, who had not previously used text message influenza vaccination reminders. Eligible patients were aged 18–64 in ‘at-risk’ groups. Interventions Practices were randomly allocated to either an intervention or standard care arm in the 2013 influenza season (September to December). Practices in the intervention arm were asked to send a text message influenza vaccination reminder to their at-risk patients under 65. Practices in the standard care arm were asked to continue their influenza campaign as planned. Blinding Practices were not blinded. Analysis was performed blinded to practice allocation. Main outcome measures Practice-level influenza vaccine uptake among at-risk patients aged 18–64 years. Results 77 practices were randomised to the intervention group (76 analysed, n at-risk patients=51 121), 79 to the standard care group (79 analysed, n at-risk patients=51 136). The text message increased absolute vaccine uptake by 2.62% (95% CI −0.09% to 5.33%), p=0.058, though this could have been due to chance. Within intervention clusters, a median 21.0% (IQR 10.2% to 47.0%) of eligible patients were sent a text message. The number needed to treat was 7.0 (95% CI −0.29 to 14.3). Conclusions Patient follow-up using routine electronic health records is a low cost method of conducting cluster randomised trials. Text messaging reminders are likely to result in modest improvements in influenza vaccine uptake, but levels of patients being texted need to markedly increase if text messaging reminders are to have much effect.

Length of publication: 12 page article


Further dissemination

April 11, 2016

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An update on immunization in UK

February 23, 2016

Source: Paediatrics and Child Health

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Date of publication: January 2016

Publication Type: Journal Article

In a nutshell: The immunization schedule changes frequently and it is important that healthcare professionals keep up to date. Parents often look to specialists for advice about vaccinating their children and place more trust in them, than government bodies. This article describes the introduction of meningococcal B and ACWY vaccines and the extension of influenza vaccine to some older children. The success of the rotavirus and maternal pertussis programmes is noted. Possible changes to the HPV and hepatitis B programmes are discussed as are vaccines for the future such as varicella, RSV and Group B streptococcus. Extra vaccines/doses for children with chronic disorders are briefly described. Keywords: hepatitis B; HPV; immunization; influenza; meningococcal ACWY; meningococcal B; pertussis; rotavirus; vaccine

Length of publication: 5 pages


What determines uptake of pertussis vaccine in pregnancy? A cross sectional survey in an ethnically diverse population of pregnant women in London

November 17, 2015

Source: Vaccine, 33 (43), 26 October 2015, pp. 5822–5828

Follow this link for abstract

Date of publication: October 2015

Publication Type: Journal Article

In a nutshell: Highlights: Uptake of pertussis vaccine in pregnancy in our population was only 26%; Although nationally recommended, only 63% of pregnant women interviewed were even aware of the pertussis vaccination programme; Lack of encouragement from healthcare professionals was identified as the main reason; 91% of women believed healthcare professionals need to become more engaged in providing timely information about vaccines in pregnancy.

Length of publication: 6 page article


Immunisation Horizon Scanning Volume 7 Issue 4

October 13, 2015

On pins and needles: How vaccines are portrayed on Pinterest

October 13, 2015

Source: Vaccine, 33 (39), 22 September 2015, pp. 5051–5056

Follow this link for abstract

Date of publication: September 2015

Publication Type: Journal Article

In a nutshell: Vaccination is an effective public health tool for reducing morbidity and mortality caused by infectious diseases. However, increasing numbers of parents question the safety of vaccines or refuse to vaccinate their children outright. The Internet is playing a significant role in the growing voice of the anti-vaccination movement as a growing number of people use the Internet to obtain health information, including information about vaccines. Given the role the Internet plays in providing vaccination-related communication, coupled with limited research in this area, this study focused on the social media platform Pinterest, analyzing 800 vaccine-related pins through a quantitative content analysis. The majority of the pins were anti-vaccine, and most were original posts as opposed to repins. Concerns about vaccine safety and side effects were oft-repeated themes, as was the concept of conspiracy theory. Pro-vaccine pins elicited consistently more engagement than anti-vaccine pins. Health educators and public health organizations should be aware of these dynamics, since a successful health communication campaign should start with an understanding of what and how publics communicate about the topic at hand.

Length of publication: 5-pages